| Kodiak brown bear|
Ursus arctos middendorffi
The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a species of bear found throughout much of the cold wilderness areas of the northern hemisphere.
Among the largest of bears, the brown bear can exceed 1,700 pounds in weight and stand up to ten feet tall; only the polar bear is larger. They have an omnivorous diet, and subsist on berries and vegetation as well as meat and fish. Brown is the general coloration of the coat, but occasionally vary dark individuals are encountered, as well as the very rare "white" brown bear (it has since been established that brown bears will mate with polar bears, resulting in hybrids). Coastal bears - those that live within 200 miles of the ocean - are more carnivorous than bears which live in the interior due to an abundance of salmon, resulting in the very large Alaskan and Kodiak subspecies.
In North America brown bears are found mainly in western Canada and Alaska; in the lower United States they are restricted to the northern Rockies. They are found throughout northern Asia, while in Europe they have been restricted to deep mountainous areas, such as the Pyranees and Balkans, due to human hunting and encroachment.
Brown bears are extremely powerful animals, with no natural predators other than man. Although slow and lumbering in appearance, they are known to employ quick bursts of speed (up to 35 mph) to take down a meal or remove a potential threat, and one swipe of a large paw can kill an animal the size of a moose. The film Grizzly Man (2005) tragically chronicled just how dangerous and unpredictable bears can be.
Considered a sub-species, the grizzly (U. a. horribilis) of North America was named for the grizzled appearance of its silver-tipped fur.
- Brown Bear Project at Alaska Science Center
- National Geographic fact site
- Bio on Bart the Bear
- IMDB page on Bart the Bear